Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc gets eagle's eye view

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By Euronews
Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc gets eagle's eye view

<p>Runners in Europe’s toughest endurance race, which <a href="http://www.euronews.com/2014/08/31/francois-d-haene-wins-ultra-trail-du-mont-blanc/">took place in the Alps at the weekend</a>, had two new cameramen for this year’s ordeal.</p> <p>Two eagles – one white-tailed, one bald – were literally able to record a bird’s eye view of the event, thanks to specially fitted mini cameras.</p> <p>The so-called Freedom Eagles have been seen before, in spectacular flights over London, Paris, Cologne and Dubai.</p> <p>This time they were taken up into the Alps to film the runners in the <a href="http://www.ultratrailmb.com/en/page/1/L%27%C3%A9v%C3%A9nement.html">Ultra-Trail du Mont-Blanc</a>, which stretches 170 kilometres around the mountain through France, Switzerland and Italy.</p> <p>“We’re going to use the incredible sight of these birds… between eight and ten times better than us. To ease his task, I put on a little orange flag he’s used to; he can locate me very quickly from more than two kilometres away. Today it was very fast… I think he came down in barely 40 seconds. 1,000 metres vertically, 1,400 metres horizontally. an average speed of more than 150 kilometres an hour,” said falconer Jacques-Olivier Travers.</p> <p>There’s another motive behind the so-called Freedom Eagles: <a href="http://pressroom.freedom-conservation.org/109499-freedom-conservation-eagles-take-on-the-ultra-trail-du-mont-blanc?utm_medium=email&utm_source=transactional&utm_campaign=campaign_35412">to raise awareness for threatened wildlife</a>.</p> <p>These mountains were once the natural habitat of the white-tailed eagle until around two centuries ago. Although saved from extinction and successfully rehabilitated, it hasn’t yet been reintroduced to the Alps.</p> <iframe class="embedly-embed" src="//cdn.embedly.com/widgets/media.html?src=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fembed%2FIkRhq-stMS4%3Fwmode%3Dtransparent%26feature%3Doembed&wmode=transparent&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.youtube.com%2Fwatch%3Fv%3DIkRhq-stMS4&image=https%3A%2F%2Fi.ytimg.com%2Fvi%2FIkRhq-stMS4%2Fhqdefault.jpg&key=b1272a1efab24f9c9292413000a46ec7&type=text%2Fhtml&schema=youtube" width="606" height="351" scrolling="no" frameborder="0" allowfullscreen></iframe>